Dime Uno

Book Review



Dime Uno


Fabian A. Samaniego  et al


D.C. Heath and Company,  Lexington, MA



Reviewed By:

Frank Fogg

Review Date:

May, 2001


The  DIME series of Spanish language textbooks are a radical departure from traditional  course materials. DIME Uno covers basic to intermediate level instruction in Spanish for native English speakers. The course consists of a hard cover text  of about 550 pages.

The first thing one notices upon opening the book is the use of brilliant colors and abundance of pictures and drawings. Another striking feature is that much  of the instruction throughout the book is in a comic book style format. Multi-page  cartoons and picture strips introduce new material, making it easy to guess the meanings of new words and phrases by examining the pictures.

Dime UnoMany of the characters in the storylines appear high school aged. They are shown  in familiar settings such as the classroom, at home, or involved in leisure  time activities, making it easy for young students to identify with the characters. The text also demonstrates both cultural similarities and differences in the  storylines and in highlighted boxes containing special cultural notes.

There are a variety of activities in every chapter to further the student's  understanding of the material. Each chapter has different activities, with typical activities including role playing, sketching, group activities, map reading, and matching exercises. Another 125 pages of problems included near the end  of the book are organized in chapter order.

Most of the vocabulary in the book is listed at the end of the book along with the English translations. Additional information is included from time to time in the page margins that explains the new concepts and grammar rules for that chapter. The design of the content and order of presentation make it simple  to follow along as more complex situations are introduced.

The only apparent weakness of this book is that it is assumed the student already has a grasp of the pronunciation  of Spanish words, or that the pronunciation will be demonstrated in a classroom setting -- there is no pronunciation key or instructions. The strengths of this work include the variety of situations and activities, the colorful artwork that is present throughout the book, and the comprehensive approach to learning conversational Spanish.

This is a wonderful book for a beginning student of Spanish to rapidly increase  their understanding of the Spanish language as used in everyday situations. It is a refreshing alternative to traditional language instruction methods, yet is extremely effective in its presentation. The comic book style format  is truly unique, colorful and interesting.

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